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Burton 5, Moore 4, Chiu 4, Chinatown 3, Us 2, America 1, Caroline 1, San Francisco 1, Nordstrom 1, Embarcadero 1, Tim 1, Mta 1, The City 1, The Chinatown 1, Hester 1, Fong 1, Anne 1, Aaron 1, Chu 1, Carolyn 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    October 20, 2011
    5:00 - 5:30pm PDT  

that. i see some improvements from the last time we met, but there is more that could be worked on. i don't want to have to deny a project like this. i think the potential is good. commissioner moore: i want to make one more comment. i would be interested in seeing that alley that has become more residential. to respond to it looking less industrial with the role of garage doors is being considered. the stevenson side is going in the right direction, but the rear of the building is still a little too rough. president olague: i apologize to commissioner moore. at a minimum, just out courtesy, protocol, we would prefer if
people address the commissioners by title. we would try to do the same with the public. i could see how people get frustrated sometimes based on where the discussions go, but i think at this level of protocol or courtesy is what we would like to see. thank you. secretary avery: commissioners, the motion on the floor is for continuance to december 15, with instructions to staff and the project sponsor and the designer to continue to look at possibly a unit flight out -- unit layout design, exposures, quality of life issues, and the public hearing will remain open. on that motion --
[roll-call vote] secretary avery: thank you, commissioners, this item is continued. both components are continued until december 15, thank you. commissioners, you are now on item 11, case number 2011.0532, use of signs, building features, floor area ratio, parking, and compliance in specified use districts. we will also hear a case number 12, 2011.0533z at the same time, washington-broadway special use district, waterfront's special use district 2 and 3, special districts for sign illumination, and special districts for scenic streets. >> good afternoon, commissioners.
i am from supervisor chu's office. >> good afternoon. thank you commissioners and members of the public. i represent supervisor david chu, who represents district 3, which is the neighborhood largely covered by this ordinance. i appreciate the opportunity to be at the hearing today for this informational hearing. i have some brief comments and i will also want to address the process and next ups. first, a typable. -- a topical point. this will facilitate seismic safety for new construction or retrofits. that will not help but the shaking a few hours ago, but it will help us with the next one or the one after that. this ordinance updates and improve various sections of the planning code to advance a number of the city's pressing goals, creating more affordable
housing, preserving and reusing historic buildings, increasing local businesses to grow and thrive, creating safe and attractive streetscapes, reducing traffic congestion, and increasing walking and cycling. it will also meet the planning code simpler, which i know that all of you appreciate more than i do. it consolidates and clarifies controls and deletes pages of controls that have outlived their usefulness. our goal is for well-designed products which fit the well in the neighborhood, and we hope this move forward and require fewer conditional use this. the ordinance is mostly on the dance walkable historic neighborhoods, downtown, the chinatown and van ness corridors. it also serves commercial uses or facilitates the preservation
and use of historic buildings, and it applies to other neighborhoods. the additional substantive comments will be saved until after that presentation, and i want to offer my thanks to all the colleagues at planning for all of their time and attention on this legislation. i can go over in much detail as you like where we are. we want to continue to engage with many stakeholders, particularly the port which is here, and we are committed to solving any problems they see. i would like to say just a few brief words about process for this legislation, past and future. i heard the commission remarks and public remarks and i wanted to respond to that and give an idea of where we are. this legislation was introduced on may 3, after a drafting
process. they made comments at the full board and it received some attention in the media. we have had dozens of conversations and numerous meetings with the stakeholders. that does not mean that everyone we met with is totally content with a legislation. we recognize that. those conversations are ongoing. we will do more outreach to neighborhood groups, policy groups, and other stakeholders. we're also open to joint dialogue for notification for the board legislation that is either coming from the board or planning. that was interesting. we see this particular hearing as informational, an important part of the public process. we appreciate how much detail the staff report goes into, which allows for a more robust discussion and a greater understanding of what is one of the longest ordinances i have worked on in my eight years in city government.
before the staff presentation, i would like to offer our office's appreciation for all of the work and dedication to approving -- improving the planning code and our city. >> thank you. i guess our deadline would be may 3. depending on where you walk at the board, we will be in contact, or with staff. we may have an additional public hearing. i think what may be useful, what i am hearing from members of the public is that it covers so many different neighborhoods that i don't know if the staff has the time to do this, but it would be i think really useful. i note it is done to some degree here, to go by neighborhood, like chinatown, how it is now,
how it will be, the van ness special use district, how that is, because it covers a lot of the city. >> one way to do it may be to line up zoning districts with neighborhoods to cross checke with zoning districts are changing. we would be happy to work on that. the agenda says potentially to continue this until november 10. our office's preference would be not to continue it. if we could go into december. we appreciate that. if it turns out we are not there yet, obviously -- president olague: i was even thinking about moving this until november 17, because i will not be here on the 10th, and i want to hear it. i think moving it to the 17th as another informational, and then december for action. >> we would be open to that.
we can talk later in the hearing about that. president olague: okay, we will try to work out a date. but the 10th, i will not be here, but i can look at tapes or whatever. the 10th or the 17th, sometime in november, and have another informational that breaks down according to neighborhood or just has more of that. >> absolutely. president olague: okay, we will figure out the date. >> not that i am essential, but i would not be here on the 17th. president olague: okay, we may need to stick to the 10th. we will figure it out.
>> ok, good evening, commissioners. before you is the parking, awning, open space ordinance introduced by supervisor chiu. i have tried to distill it down to 10 topics. the first is code is simplification, reduce off street parking requirements, reuse historic, small businesses serving neighborhoods, and increased code compliance. signed controls, additional map changes, and that issues and concerns from the public at large. the planning code has become much more complex in the last 30 years. many editions were necessary to address planning concerns were
specific challenges in various parts of the city. however, there is a lot of redundant languages and some definitions are listed in multiple places. the proposed legislation attempts to clean some of this up. consolidating some into one section and reducing the number of definitions. the legislation also makes several changes to parking requirements. the majority of those seek to reduce parking requirements, such as removing the one-to-one parking, making all parking controls consistent, removing minimum parking requirements in the north beach neighborhood districts and the chinatown mixed use district, and also increasing the zoning administrator authority to waive parking requirements under section 161.
it also proposes changes that would halt historic buildings, exchanges the building throughout c-3. there are some exceptions to that. it allows the zoning administrator to waive article 11 buildings and help facilitate adaptive reuse, currently allowed for article 10 buildings. it allows publicly accessible open space, with z.a. authorization, and allow a certain code requirements be waived when converting a nonconforming use to a rigid central use. -- a nonconforming use to residential use. it will not only reduce cost but process and encourage their use.
this legislation also anchorages commercial uses. we appreciate the neighborhood corner stores. it seeks to encourage more of them by allowing lapsed commercial uses to be reinstated. it allows those commercial uses to have awnings, which they're not currently allowed to have. it also seeks to expand the corner use provisions developed in the market and octavia planning process by increasing the allowable square footage from 1200 square feet to 2500 square feet. the proposed ordinance also seeks to reduce process by adjusting certain requirements that have been granted exceptions. the proposal increases as of right parking for residential units from one to four to one to
two. to offset the increase, as of right parking, it also requires conditional use authorization to exceed that threshold. in addition, the legislation at certain exemptions to allow automotive service stations along primary transit streets or citywide pedestrian networks to be exempt from conversion process, outlined in section 228. and it gives the greater authority to waive parking requirements under section 161. keeping in line with the city of transit first policy and the goal of having 20% of trips by bike, the legislation also seeks to disincentive buys parking. it includes short-term parking calculations, resume -- removes the exemption of the c-3
district, which allows them to operate in perpetuity in nonconforming uses. it permits surface parking lots, located mainly along the northeast waterfront. it restructure's long-term parking structures, intended to discourage long-term commuter parking downtown, and would also include accessory off street parking and loading spaces in those calculations. to incentivize affordable housing, the legislation excludes affordable and group housing from calculations in the c-3 district and van ness special use district. that is not specified in this legislation, which have been required in other areas of the city that have excluded these uses from the calculations, such as the eastern neighborhoods. the legislation makes changes to the sign controls, prohibiting
signs above 40 feet in the c-3 district, limiting gas station signs to the roof height of the building, and it gives the administration authority to remove signs for businesses that have gone out of business. that allows some controls for limited commercial uses. and if changes the sign control so they are similar to neighborhood commercial controls to recognize the mixed use nature of these districts. finally, there is a companion piece to the legislation that changes the zoning map. the maps are included in the packet. there is a before and after that show the changes. the zoning map is supposed to be changed in the following way. the van ness special sign district would be removed, which would ban flashing signs on van ness ave. the embarcadero would be added to the scenic streets, which
provides general advertising signs. the washington-broadway special use district would be combined into one sud. the boundaries would be modified to more closely align with the plan areas in the general plan, and the legislation? the zoning map to reflect the actual boundaries of the broadway special sign district outlined the planning code. they were updated when the legislation was changed. some issues and concerns that we would like the commission to opine on. specifically, the depletion of the existing provision in the code that preserves surface parking lots in the c-3 district. we heard a lot of comments about that. the compromise we are calling it which increases as of right parking within c three. absence of mixed use requirements and calculations,
whether that should be a grandfathering clause for projects that have already received their approval from the commission. the increase in size for the limited corner commercial uses, which were developed through every long community outreach process. the market activity of plan, and the impact of some of the changes under the burton act, such as making certain parking lots not committed in c-2. that is the conclusion of my presentation. president olague: we will open this up for public comment. we would like a copy of what you just presented today. we have several speaker cards. sue hester, followed by bob handler, caroline, and mark.
>> sue hester. the first explanation of what this legislation is really about is the executive summary code checked rigid code text change that came out last thursday. i have been trying to get substantive information on these changes. this is a 344-page legislative change. that is rather daunting. as you heard in the extraordinary summary, which is a summary of a summary, this is legislation that affects almost everything that moves.
the executive summary itself is a summary without a lot of code sections. i am a lawyer. i read the planning code, and i read it basically for the community because nobody else has the patience to do it. but i do with, i have been doing it 30 years, and i know how to read the code. but it helps to have a path through the code. when i got this legislation, i opened it and start reading and i cannot figure out when you just start reading what relates to what. i have a section with lots of post-its on it and questions. i don't know who drafted this, which staff people. the only other documents available was a legislative digest that has judy's name on it, dated 4-28-11, when it was introduced by supervisor chiu. that legislation has a summary
that i found with lots of problems. when i started reading it, i said that i don't think the summary reflects what i read in the code. this is a monster piece of legislation. it needs to be broken down into understandable chunks, unless you are planning on snickering the people. if it is the department's intention to trick people, go with the legislation. if the intention is to have informed discussions, i think you need to have people at the table discussing things. when i went through with, i saw market octavia changes, bennis corridor changes, i saw the chinatown changes, all of which i represented, and i started calling people. i said the know there is darrius -- no one knew. i really think this legislation is not ready for prime time. you need an executive summary that has code sections rather
than, hey, we are changing this provision. i want to know what the code section is so i can say, though, you are changing this section, and see if this is a correct summary. you are asking us to do too much on faith, and i don't have that much faith, sorry. president olague: i will keep calling. diane, tim. >> good afternoon, members of the commission. i am diahann with the board of san francisco. hopefully we have submitted a letter that goes over our issues in more detail. i have copies available for the public as well. we have reviewed the legislation. i want to thank your staff, anne
and aaron, for walking us through so we could walk through the sections that pertain to the port jurisdiction. my letter goes into more detail, but i think the key issues for the port commission and their responsibilities are recognition that port policies for the port properties and the city's general plan and planning code provisions for port properties, in large part they have been an alignment all along. some of the changes proposed in the legislation here bring up some potential conflict with the burden act, the state legislation that gives the port commission their responsibility as to what they're supposed to do to meet state regulations at the same time they're trying to meet the city regulations. i know that commissioner fong and commissioner moore are very familiar with this, but for the
port, one of the ways in which we have been able to bring together the city and the state land issues is through a waterfront design advisory committee process, and commissioner moore is one of the members on the board. that is a means by which the design review can balance all of the design needs of new port development projects, and it is recognized in the planning code today under section 240, which recognizes the burton act responsibilities. one of the things that is of concern to the port is to have the burton act responsibilities continue to be recognized. because of the way that state legislation in the charter is written, if there is a conflict between the local controls and the burton act controls, the burton act legislation would prevail. it is important to look at that in the proposed revisions would like to entertain with supervisor chiu's office and
staff. that translates into some of the concerns we have regarding the surface parking lots, which are proposed to be non permitted uses. we're not here to protect surface parking lots, per se, but the money that goes into that has found it open space and historic preservation in the maritime industries that the port commission is supposed to uphold. that is of critical comportment -- critical importance to the port commission and we think we have ideas of how to resolve that. there is a certain zoning that is proposed -- [bell] president olague: thank you. if you are still here, we have -- we may have questions for you. >> thank you. sorry to be long winded. >> hello, commissioners.
my name is carolyn. we represent priority parking. a priority parking operates various surface parking lots. we and other members of the parking association strongly object to the proposed elimination of the longstanding provision under section 184 that allows for the continued operation of parking lots that are grandfathered from the downtown plan when it was passed in the 1980's. those parking lots have then an illegal operation over 25 years, and that includes -- have been under legal operation over 25 years. they will be negatively affected by this proposed legislation. i have a letter here from nordstrom to supervisor chiu that i want to share with you.
the interested parties also strong not object to the potential retroactive application -- strongly object to the potential retroactive application of this legislation. bumembers of the parking association have been in touch with supervisor chu's office about this, and it is clear this has not been well thought out or analyzed. for example, there would likely be an enormous loss of tax revenue, and we are wondering if that has been checked with mta. we also question if there has been look at the transportation impact, particularly with the loss of these parking lots during the america's cup. that -- we want to be clear that the five-year amortization process does not cause a problem. we think this is a mistake that will cause an undue burden on
existing parking lot operators, owners, and businesses. thank you. president olague: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. mark, with a housing developer. i like to speak to some of the housing components of the legislation, which we are in favor of. there is a provision where it inclusionary units would be excluded from the calculations, and this would lead to the production and construction of more inclusionary units. we are consistently looking at new projects, doing analysis, running the performance, and we would look at you provide the annual fee or the unit site. for a while, it made more sense. now it is tending towards a wash, especially depending on the neighborhood. if this were here and you were
able to exclude inclusion era, it would tip the balance and you provide this, and it would directly lead to more units being built. also, leading to conditional use for dwelling units. this has been removed from most of the neighborhood plans that have come up. you still have all sorts of form these controls on height and bulk and open space and dwelling unit exposure. you are getting there any way. removing this removes coming to you and burdening your calendar as well. also, tdr's. right now, sometimes you have to trade within that zone. if you open it up to the entire c-3, you have more projects being built because the price will go down and it will open the market more, leading to more housing. finally, we do like using the -- moving the one to four parking to